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Opioids for cancer pain - an overview of Cochrane reviews

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2017
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (91st percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (67th percentile)

Mentioned by

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49 tweeters
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1 Facebook page

Citations

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66 Dimensions

Readers on

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182 Mendeley
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Title
Opioids for cancer pain - an overview of Cochrane reviews
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd012592.pub2
Pubmed ID
Authors

Philip J Wiffen, Bee Wee, Sheena Derry, Rae Frances Bell, R Andrew Moore

Abstract

Pain is a common symptom with cancer, and 30% to 50% of all people with cancer will experience moderate to severe pain that can have a major negative impact on their quality of life. Opioid (morphine-like) drugs are commonly used to treat moderate or severe cancer pain, and are recommended for this purpose in the World Health Organization (WHO) pain treatment ladder. The most commonly-used opioid drugs are buprenorphine, codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, tramadol, and tapentadol. To provide an overview of the analgesic efficacy of opioids in cancer pain, and to report on adverse events associated with their use. We identified systematic reviews examining any opioid for cancer pain published to 4 May 2017 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in the Cochrane Library. The primary outcomes were no or mild pain within 14 days of starting treatment, withdrawals due to adverse events, and serious adverse events. We included nine reviews with 152 included studies and 13,524 participants, but because some studies appeared in more than one review the number of unique studies and participants was smaller than this. Most participants had moderate or severe pain associated with a range of different types of cancer. Studies in the reviews typically compared one type of opioid or formulation with either a different formulation of the same opioid, or a different opioid; few included a placebo control. Typically the reviews titrated dose to effect, a balance between pain relief and adverse events. Various routes of administration of opioids were considered in the reviews; oral with most opioids, but transdermal administration with fentanyl, and buprenorphine. No review included studies of subcutaneous opioid administration. Pain outcomes reported were varied and inconsistent. The average size of included studies varied considerably between reviews: studies of older opioids, such as codeine, morphine, and methadone, had low average study sizes while those involving newer drugs tended to have larger study sizes.Six reviews reported a GRADE assessment (buprenorphine, codeine, hydromorphone, methadone, oxycodone, and tramadol), but not necessarily for all comparisons or outcomes. No comparative analyses were possible because there was no consistent placebo or active control. Cohort outcomes for opioids are therefore reported, as absolute numbers or percentages, or both.Reviews on buprenorphine, codeine with or without paracetamol, hydromorphone, methadone, tramadol with or without paracetamol, tapentadol, and oxycodone did not have information about the primary outcome of mild or no pain at 14 days, although that on oxycodone indicated that average pain scores were within that range. Two reviews, on oral morphine and transdermal fentanyl, reported that 96% of 850 participants achieved that goal.Adverse event withdrawal was reported by five reviews, at rates of between 6% and 19%. Participants with at least one adverse event were reported by three reviews, at rates of between 11% and 77%.Our GRADE assessment of evidence quality was very low for all outcomes, because many studies in the reviews were at high risk of bias from several sources, including small study size. The amount and quality of evidence around the use of opioids for treating cancer pain is disappointingly low, although the evidence we have indicates that around 19 out of 20 people with moderate or severe pain who are given opioids and can tolerate them should have that pain reduced to mild or no pain within 14 days. This accords with the clinical experience in treating many people with cancer pain, but overstates to some extent the effectiveness found for the WHO pain ladder. Most people will experience adverse events, and help may be needed to manage the more common undesirable adverse effects such as constipation and nausea. Perhaps between 1 in 10 and 2 in 10 people treated with opioids will find these adverse events intolerable, leading to a change in treatment.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 49 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 182 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 182 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 29 16%
Student > Bachelor 20 11%
Student > Ph. D. Student 18 10%
Researcher 17 9%
Other 16 9%
Other 48 26%
Unknown 34 19%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 78 43%
Nursing and Health Professions 17 9%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 16 9%
Psychology 5 3%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 4 2%
Other 20 11%
Unknown 42 23%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 27. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 04 February 2020.
All research outputs
#706,362
of 14,946,532 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#2,075
of 11,056 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#22,235
of 265,969 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#79
of 246 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 14,946,532 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 95th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,056 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 22.6. This one has done well, scoring higher than 81% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 265,969 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 246 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 67% of its contemporaries.